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Optimizing B2B Lead Management: Lessons from a Real Customer Journey

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In B2B, a precise understanding of the customer journey is crucial to effective lead management. Mistakes in lead management are often due to misinterpretation of customer needs and behaviors. This article explores a real-life case study of the B2B customer journey and reveals essential strategies for improving lead management.

  • 00:00 Presentation of Cathy's buyer journey
  • 16:42 Many players are involved
  • 22:22 Your perception of the customer journey is partial
  • 24:00 Your prospect will educate himself in one way or another
  • 25:12 Recognizing and managing the buying group (bis)
  • 26:02 Recognizing and managing your brand ambassadors
  • 27:39 Securing the end of the journey

Part One: B2B Customer Journey Analysis

Discovery phase

Cathy, a new employee, must quickly learn Marketo. Her supervisor, Peter, is unavailable, so she has to find a local solution. At the same time, she has to launch her first email campaign and quickly realizes that structured training is needed, not just a free online tutorial.

Key points :
  • Transition often triggered by an external event.
  • Sensitivity to branded content.

Consideration phase

Cathy actively explores training options, particularly in French. She consults articles on the Merlin/Leonard website, then chats with a friend, Lucy, who highly recommends their training courses. A retargeting ad leads her to an online quiz that recommends a full training course, capturing her email.

Key points :
  • Need for open-access content.
  • Influence of personal recommendations.

Decision phase

Cathy decides to sign up for Merlin/Leonard training. Peter visits the Merlin/Leonard website to check their credibility, while Cathy's colleague Paul also shows interest. A conference call with Thomas from HR, Peter, and Cathy, results in the decision to train two people via videoconference with a certified trainer.

Key points :
  • Importance of credibility and online reviews.

Purchasing process and HR phase

Cathy organizes a meeting to discuss the financing of the training. Thomas from HR needs to check that Merlin/Leonard is Qualiopi certified. Francis from Purchasing also has to approve the addition of a new supplier, which can be an obstacle. Vigilance is required until finalization.

Key points :
  • Complexity of post-purchase mechanisms.
  • Stay vigilant until the end.

Part Two: Six lessons from the B2B customer journey

Diversity of players

Each stakeholder has unique needs. Adapting communications is essential.

Enrich leads from the outset: Identify stakeholder roles as soon as they enter the database, to avoid mistakes.

Impact on Lead Management reporting: Measure conversion rates correctly, taking needs into account.

Partial perception of the customer journey

Interconnect all systems for an overall view.

Be cautious: Don't systematically trigger emails following an interaction to avoid damaging the experience.

Importance of prospect education

Provide quality educational content from the outset to build trust.

Exclusive content: Produce unique and relevant content to attract prospects.

Buying Group Management

Understanding and managing buying groups is crucial.

Automate buying group constitution: Detect several people from the same company with the same need and group them together.

Role of Brand Ambassadors

Recognize and promote ambassadors who influence prospects' decisions.

A dedicated communication channel: Manage a private group for ambassadors on a private social network.

Post-decision follow-up

Rigorous post-decision follow-up is essential to guarantee success.

Set up a feedback loop in the CRM: Correct the wrong amounts of opportunities for marketing decisions based on accurate data.

Conclusion

Cathy's example offers valuable insight into the B2B customer journey. Thoughtful, proactive lead management can better anticipate customers' needs, improve their experience and maximize ROI.
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